Principal's Blog: 11th January 2021

blogBowerscrop1Happy New Year to all my readers. This term will be primarily remote learning because of Government restrictions but we look forward to welcoming some of our students back in accordance with Government guidelines. It is worth mentioning that we are covid secure and there are no recorded cases of transmission in a teaching environment whether in Oxford orb elsewhere. We solute those involved in the Oxford vaccine.

Donor Board:
I am delighted that OG Stonemasonry have installed the BNC Commemoration to our benefactors. Carved in stone, the Commemoration is opposite the Lodge in the Tower archway. It lists donors to the College dating back to our founders.  Brasenose has benefited from the generosity of its former members and friends for centuries, and that tradition continues today; around a dozen of those who are celebrated on the plaque are living alumni and friends who have made a significant impact on the functioning of Brasenose over the last few years. This is a fitting tribute to them.

New Years Honours:
I am delighted to congratulate those who have received Honours amongst our alumni

New Zealand
Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit – Professor Dame Juliet Gerrard for services to science

Knights Bachelor – Professor Sir Dieter Helm CBE for services to the environment, energy, and utilities policy

MBE – Tim Ramsay MBE for services to education and LGBTQ equality

MBE – Sylvie Provan MBE for services to British foreign policy

Martin Forde QC:
At the last Governing Body meeting of 2020, Martin Forde QC (1979, Jurisprudence) was elected to an Honorary Fellowship. He has had an impressive legal career: born to the Windrush Generation himself, Martin was  advisor to the Home Office in determining how to compensate this cohort of citizens for the discrimination they faced. Sir Keir Starmer QC recently appointed Martin to drive forward The Forde Inquiry to investigate the leak of a report from the Labour Party regarding alleged anti-Semitism. 

Martin has remained very close to College and has been particularly supportive of our efforts to increase the proportion of BAME members of our community. 

If you would like to hear more from Martin, we were delighted when he recently joined our panel discussion for our Annual Equality Conversation (a recording can be found on the College website). Martin’s election marks an important moment in our history as he is our first Black Fellow.  

I am sure you will join me in congratulating Martin on his election and I look forward to the opportunity to introduce him to you. 

You may have seen the TV dramatization of His Dark Materials – set in a mythical Jordan College that is intended to be Exeter College. It is filmed in various colleges but one clip of a street scene had the name Brasenose Lane on the road sign.

I have been able to read some excellent books over the break including Behind the Enigma; The Authorised History of GCHQ by John Ferris; Sasha Swire’s Diary of MP’s wife; Sobolewska and Ford on Brexitland; Kremlin Winter by Robert Service and Crises of Democracy by Adam Przeworski

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